|Vietnam Veterans of America|
|Vice President’s Report, March/April 2021|
A New Perk for VVA Members
Back in the day when I wore a much younger man’s clothes, my boss came into my office. I did not look up from my desk until he said, “Tom, I have an idea.” I glanced up and said, “I like it.” To which he replied: “Would you like to hear it first?” I said, “It doesn’t matter. I like it.”
He walked closer, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, “Son, you’re going to go a long way in this organization.”
With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to a new program that was recently approved by the National Board of Directors with CB Auto Group in Atlanta. CB Auto’s chairman and CEO is VVA life member John Perez, who has been in the automotive business for many years. He approached us several months ago to discuss CB Auto’s Absolute Advantage Program. He wanted to provide that service to his fellow veterans.
Perez’s motive—aside from providing VVA with a new revenue source—is to give back to his fellow veteran brothers and sisters. I have been negotiating with CB Auto for several months, trying to upgrade the provisions of their base contract and the proposed VVA contract. We have succeeded in increasing the value of the contract in our favor. CB Auto was extremely cooperative and agreed to many of our proposed changes.
The short version of what his company does is this: They provide a service for groups to purchase cars easily. This precludes the hassles people can go through when buying a car while sitting in a dealership for hours negotiating a deal.
One of CB Auto’s clients is the AFL-CIO. I talked with their representatives about their experiences with CB Auto. They had nothing but high praise for the company. They said that they have had very few problems since the AFL joined the program. The few they had were handled with the upmost speed and efficiency. Other CB Auto clients include the University of Georgia and the State of Georgia.
CB Auto will provide a personalized way for VVA members to purchase cars at discounted prices at many dealerships around the country. With each purchase of a vehicle by a VVA member, family member, or national staffer through the Absolute Advantage Program, VVA will receive $100. Considering the size of our membership, this could provide a substantial income.
A marketing program will be developed with CB Auto by VVA Director of Communications Mokie Porter. A website will be set up for VVA people to use the program. In the coming weeks you will receive details about the program. VVA looks forward to this opportunity to provide our members with a new benefit. CB Auto will not use VVA’s logos or trademarks without prior written consent.
THE NEW VA SECRETARY
On February 8 the Senate confirmed the appointment of Denis McDonough to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. McDonough has extensive experience on Capitol Hill. He served as White House chief of staff under President Obama, as well as deputy national security adviser. He has shown his commitment to veterans. VVA President John Rowan applauded McDonough’s confirmation, saying that VVA has full confidence that he will work with Veterans Service Organizations to improve veterans’ health care and other services. President Rowan noted that McDonough is deeply familiar with the Veterans Health Administration.
I noted with great surprise that our new Secretary hails from Stillwater, Minnesota—which also just happens to be my hometown. If he comes from Stillwater, he obviously must be very talented.
We encourage all VVA members to stay informed about the current protocols and information concerning the virus. You can get the latest updates on COVID-19 at the VA’s web page. Stay connected and do what you need to do to remain healthy. Keep all your appointments with your primary care physician. If you fill your prescriptions by mail, order them promptly.
VA offers diagnostic virus testing for veterans who are enrolled in VA Health Care, and it has been vaccinating veterans in facilities across the country. If you want to be vaccinated, call the nearest VA facility and schedule an appointment. Wear a mask whenever you are out of the house. Stay safe.
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